More NFL Players Are Taking Their Salaries In Bitcoin34 min readReading Time: 23 minutes
Defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers is taking the entirety of his salary in bitcoin. He joins Bitcoin Magazine Twitter spaces to discuss.
This is a recording of a recent Twitter Spaces conversation about NFL player, Alex Barrett, taking 100% of his salary in bitcoin.
Listen To This Twitter Spaces:
[0:06] Bitwage: Can I get things started here? It’s really cool to have everyone in the audience today. This was a big day for us. This was a big day for Bitcoin. It’s a big day for Alex Barrett for him personally. Before we get into that and explain what just happened, if you don’t know what Bitwage is, we’re the world’s largest Bitcoin payroll invoicing and benefits platform.We’ve been in this space for a while. We’ve been here since 2014 and lately, we’ve been doing a major marketing campaign where we’re trying to really push the needle on adaption and getting a lot of different athletes and influencers involved in the Bitcoin mission. As Q referenced, our last ambassador partnership was with Matheus Nicolau, who is up here on stage with us. We were working with him to get a percentage of his paycheck in Bitcoin.And yeah, Alex was in that room. That’s where this all started. We reached out to him after that room. We discovered how bullish he was, how passionate he was aboutBitcoin. We brought him on down to Miami when we were at the conference. Like this needs to be said but you guys just killed it at this conference. That definitely needs to be said. This year’s conference was just such a success from an attendee’s point of views. Congratulations on that. Yeah. When Alex was there, he loved the energy. He was just like, “Yo, I am all in. I am loving this.” After that, we flew out to San Francisco where he’s at. We did like a VIP concierge service with him. We got him all set up. We shot some videos with him. And fast forward to today and now we made this announcement and he’s decided to take 100% percent of his salary with his team in Bitcoin, which is just huge.I mean, sometimes, you hear about these announcements and you’re hearing these players take a percentage, a small fraction, but he just made such a bullish example by taking straight up a hundred percent. So, I just think that’s so incredible. Alex, we’d love to hear your first thoughts about this whole thing and why you decided to do this.
[2:24] Alex Barrett: Yeah. When I first heard about Bitcoin, this is back in 2017, it goes back to my rookie year when Bitcoin hit. To me, it first reached out to me throughInstagram just post Bitcoin in 20K. I wanted to learn more about it and invest, most of all educate but I didn’t really know where to start then. And I kind of let the outside noise, the fad, the fear, and other people’s opinion get in my head so I steered away fromBitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.Fast forward to where we’re at now, especially this past year, I really took that dive in, especially when I’d seen that hit 69k. The potential that Bitcoin has is just unlimited, and for myself, as an athlete, I make income on the field. But what am I doing outside of the football field to help grow and set myself up for my future?And when I think about that, I think about real estate. I think about stocks. Now, one of the biggest of them all is a cryptocurrency and the longevity in that. That’s how I kind of got in this space. I’m constantly learning and growing more about this tech and what it has to offer and I’m really just excited.
[3:48] Bitwage: I want to give the mic to Matheus really quick. He is actually teaching right now. He was able to take a few minutes off of teaching to jump in this space.Matheus, we’d love to hear from you just for a few seconds about who you are and why you’re here.
[4:05] Matheus Nicolau: Hello, guys. First of all, congratulations to Alex for being part of the Bitwage team and in the Bitcoin world. I may have even done a different sport but I think our careers have so much in common. I’ve seen him talking before, and our time in doing our job in the sport is not that long so we got to think about our future and I have the same idea as him when I started in the Bitcoin world. I’m doing this, planning my future. Welcome, Alex and I hope to see you in one of my fights in the future. Let’s keep in touch and if you want to come, it will be a pleasure to have you watching and cheering for me.
[4:57] Alex Barrett: Thanks, bro. I appreciate that, man. I would love to make it to the fight. Trust me. Let’s make that happen.
[5:02] Matheus: Let’s make that happen for sure.
[5:04] Alex Barrett: Let’s go.
[5:05] Matheus: Maybe we can spend some of our Bitcoin together.
[5:09] Alex Barrett: Let’s do it.
[5:11] Matheus: Nice. Welcome, brother. Welcome to the team.
[5:14] Alex Barrett: Thank you so much, bro.
[5:14] Matheus: And congrats, Bitwage. What you guys are doing is huge. I’m pretty sure that Alex only makes that decision because part of that is because you guys are doing an awesome job in explaining everything that comes together with Bitcoin in all the crypto world so congratulations to Bitwage, and to the supporters for giving everything that we need.
[5:41] Bitwage: Thank you so much for that, Matheus. I know that you’re in the middle of something right now so feel free to leave whenever. We just wanted to hear from you and it’s really good to hear your voice. Just for some quick context, if any of you don’t know who Matheus is, he’s the world’s number 8 ranked flyweight fighter in the UFC and we recently just did a deal with him in which he was taking a portion of his salary with the UFC in Bitcoin.And that made a lot of news because he’s essentially the first Latin American fighter that has ever done such a thing and that is such a huge deal for his region, especially theSouth America region specifically in which a lot of countries are unfortunately saddled with a lot of economic issues, especially inflation.So, for him to set that example and do a Bitcoin payroll deal with us was really incredible because it showed his peers and his fellow countrymen that there’s a way out of this system. There is hope and you can start that today by putting a portion of your money into just a really hard, secured, and sound asset like Bitcoin so it’s super awesome that Matheus was willing to be on board with us for that.
[6:58] Matheus: Yes. Thank you guys for all the support and for making me feel safe doing this. Without the Bitwage guys, even though for a long time, I’m listening instead a little bit about Bitcoin but I never had the security to really started doing it and after I met the Bitwage team, I was way more comfortable and feeling safe in doing it so thank you, guys, for helping me to get into the Bitcoin world. I really believe that I’m doing some really good here for my future, so that’s it.
[7:36] Bitwage: Wonderful, Matheus. Thank you so much. Alex, I have kind of a question for you. I know some other team members from the Bitcoin media organization can chime on this too because they have really great perspectives on this I know. But from your perspective, why do you think it’s become such a popular move for athletes to be drawn to these types of like Bitcoin payroll deals, paid-in Bitcoin deals? What do you think athletes, in particular, are so drawn to this, just from your perspective?
[8:11] Alex Barrett: From my perspective, I think it just gives us an opportunity we don’t normally have. A lot of our money is on the field as I was saying and that’s USD. But when you talk about cryptocurrency with the world’s money and I like to call it as a pool, and getting the upper hand and investing early, I think that can attract guys like myself, just financially speaking as an investment opportunity early on. The long-term effect of that just growing and building more assets and I think Bitcoin is one of those potential big assets that I have heavily invested in.
[8:56] Bitwage: Right. Very cool. Alex McShane and Q, I know you guys have a lot of perspectives regarding the confluence of sports and Bitcoin. What perspectives do you guys have on this matter where we’re seeing this revolution of…Time and time after again, all these athletes are being drawn to Bitcoin. We’ve seen it for the past few years now. I feel like it’s something we see every month if not every week. What are you guys seeing?
[9:22] Alex McShane: I think it allows athletes to focus more on lower time preference.Prepare for the future in a kind of pretty passive way in general. Bitcoin is pretty much no maintenance cost once you get your security in order and they can focus on what they do and have confidence that they have a store of value and that they’re not going to get disenfranchised by managers. The money in their custody is truly theirs, And it’s going to appreciate long-term and they can spend it peer-to-peer with anyone in the world. It’s the same benefits anybody with access to the internet has really.
[10:02] Q: I think, to also expand on that, I’ll just be direct. I’ll name names. I remember growing up watching a player like Antoine Walker or Charles Barkley make millions upon millions of dollars and then very shortly after their careers are over, you hear the stories of them completely having burned through all the millions they had earned while they played.This introduction to the best savings technology ever created allows for athletes to look at their finances in a vastly different way. In a way that everyone who gets sort of exposed to Bitcoin starts to look differently at their finances. You start to ask questions like what actually is money. What is the value [inaudible] can calculate these things out?You look at things so differently. I think you’re only starting to see it begin and it’ll be interesting to see as it expands.
[11:01] Alex McShane: Can I expand on what you said just real shortly, Q? I think, like in my time at least with Fighters, what I’ve seen is athletes, at the very least, we can agree that they live highly irregular lifestyles from the rest of us. I think some of the financial education, even the mainstream may get as misleading as that might be, [inaudible]some people who are like pure-play focused on their sport.And I’m not [inaudible] any less capable but I think Bitcoin provides an elegant solution and an actual incentive once they get their first bit of Bitcoin. You have skin in the game.You have a reason to start doing your own due diligence digging into it and learning about how money ought in and all the ways that they’re being to having their time stolen from them through taxes and through inflation.
[11:58] Q: I also think, and Alex, I’d love for maybe your perspective on this. My playing days ended in college. I’m sitting here thinking about it more and more, and it’s almost like this was an inevitable transition in the way athletes think. We’ve seen over the course over the last, especially 10, 15, and 20 years. We see athletes elongate their careers due to ways they’re able to manage both their off-the-court sort of diets, programs, and regimens, as well as the way they approach training.And you’re starting to see that retirement age creep up higher and higher throughout these generational cycles and that is a high-low time preference-like way of thinking. Let me not necessarily engage in the most disruptive behaviors early in my career, and let me practice and train in a way that I can have a 15 to 20-year career. Obviously, we’re talking at a certain level but that type of thinking then translated over to your money,”Hey, let me be thinking about my money, not just in my playing days while I’m making it but what it looks like beyond.”
[13:04] Alex Barrett: Yeah. To add to that, you’re absolutely right. This is my profession.This is what I’m good at. This is what I’m one of the top at in the country. And when you look at the sport, when you look at a professional athlete, it’s not easy doing what we do at a high level. In order to stay where I’m at, I started in 2017, I’m going on my sixth year. I’ve had invested a lot of time off the field in my body whether that’s acupuncture, nutrition plan, or some of the top trainers around the country just to keep up with the younger generation, the new rookies that come in, or the competition that comes in, just to stay relevant.If I’m not constantly growing, then I’m staying the same and I’m leaving myself out. You take that same philosophy into my financial situation or my portfolio, it’s the same thing.I got to start preparing for my future and cryptocurrency is something that I can add to my portfolio down the road.
[14:12] Q: Alex, I’m curious if you could maybe share. Bitcoin and the NFL are no strangers to one another, especially over the last few years. It seems to just be growing at such a rapid rate. Can you maybe just share some of the conversations you’ve been hearing in the locker rooms amongst teammates? I’ll even open it up because like you had .eth in your name before this.
[14:36] Alex Barrett: Sure.
[14:36] Q: NFT is galore all over NFL Twitter if I’m being quite honest. What are those conversations like?
[14:45] Alex Barrett: A lot of people really aren’t educated or understand what NFTs are or dot ETH is. For me, it was kind of just joining the wave. Dot ETH, I joined the wave and discovered what it is. My buddy playing in a league, who’s now retired, who’s now dove into Web3 and is about to launch his own project, he’s the one who told me about .eth. And I’m like, “Oh, dang. Okay. It’s a wave. It’s a movement. I see people in the community and the spaces ripping it. Why not?” I went, bought DNS, and boom, I own it. The same with NFTs. Since I would say October or September when everything started popping off in this NFT space, I kind of just dove in. I’ve been watching on the sidelines, starting to learn.There are a lot of rags out there. There’s a lot of the BS out there. I’ve been part of those and I’ve learned from those experiences but what I really see is a community and you break that little community in these NFTs and you put it into something like Bitcoin or something bigger, it’s the same thing. How shall I say it? It’s just all community-based. I’m big in the community. I’m big in the family. That’s something that I hold close to my heart. That’s what attracts me.But, yeah, the locker room talk, like just today, it’s funny. It’s kind of just a bunch of just trash talk really. The market is down clearly, across the market, stocks or crypto. You hear people just talking crap on crypto, Bitcoin, fear, you’re heavily invested, you’re screwed. And while I’m doing my little body warm-up, guys just mutter that. I kind of just put my head down and smile or laugh because I’ve been here before.The same thing happened in March when Bitcoin dropped to 20, went to 26000 again, or even back in 2017, when it hit 20000, dumped heavily. I’ve kind of been in these waves. I’ve become comfortable with words like that and that’s why I’m just like I’m hereto stay. I’m not going anywhere. They can all talk. It’s cool and all but I know that I got my payroll coming in every week. Low or high, I’m just adding to my portfolio, and I’m investing in my future.
[17:07] Jonathan Chester: Yeah. Hopefully, you can hear me. My internet isn’t very good. When we’re in Miami, Alex, something you said to me really rang through. It was something along the lines of like you’re in all these other projects but at the end of the day, you saw the head honcho, like what you’re ultimately trying to accumulate. I think that’s a really, really cool good insight that you had and I’m glad that you had it and I’m glad we had that conversation because it made me feel like this would fit.
[17:44] Alex Barrett: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
[17:47] Jonathan: And then you went [crosstalk] without anyone on our team is saying,”Hey, you should go a hundred percent.” You’re like, “I’m doing a hundred percent.” I love that. I think it’d be cool for you to maybe talk about more of those ideas on maybe why you decide to go a hundred percent.
[20:03] Alex Barrett: I dove into these spaces. I mean a part of these other communities just grow and create more income to invest back into Bitcoin overall. In any market I’m a part of, I want to buy more Bitcoin. For me to go a hundred percent, especially at the time right now, made sense. To me, it’s the right time to get in. I don’t see why not, even if we were in a green or the market is doing really well, I still want to attain more Bitcoin because, one, the limited supply, I think it’s 21 million. Everything about it just attracted me, the security, just being in control of my own money, not having this in the bank. I’d rather my money sit in Bitcoin than send it to the bank and not do anything. I don’t even have full access to that. That’s one of the biggest things that attracted me to go all-in.
[21:07] Q: Alex, for those maybe less in the know, like most people just see it like, “Oh, this athlete will be taking his weekly paycheck no different than like most jobs.” Maybe talk a little bit about how this dynamic works with Bitwage.
[21:24] Alex Barrett: I kind of lost you there. I’m sorry. What was the question?
[21:27] Q: Sorry. I just maybe a gentle reminder of the fact that like, the payment schedule. If you don’t mind sharing that because I don’t think very many people realize that NFL players still get like a biweekly or maybe a weekly paycheck.
[21:41] Alex Barrett: Oh, yeah. Where I’m at now, we do receive a weekly paycheck.Right now, we’re in OTAs, which is Optional Training Assessment where we were getting the time we spend in the building. It’s 4 days a week but we do see a check every week. During the season, and this varies with every team, it could be biweekly or it could be every week. But normally, from teams I’ve been on, it’s every week. Just seeing that my payroll going, actually, it goes through. I get my email from Bitwage. I go on my ledger wallet, my cold wallet, and I check my assets in there. They’re there. It’s a great feeling. I mean, I’m literally getting paid in Bitcoin. There’s no better, I mean, it’s dope to me.
[22:31] Q: I love that. What steps did you take to sort of prepare your finances in order to be able to take your full salary in Bitcoin? Are you sort of operating and like spending some of that Bitcoin for your day-to-day expenses?
[22:49] Alex Barrett: Financially, I’ve been on my own. I don’t have an advisor. For the last 4 years in the league, I’ve managed it myself and I still manage it myself actually.But I’ve just decided to dive in and invest heavily where I see fit. I own real estate. Some of my assets are in real estate. Now, with Bitcoin, I do. I’m kind of just collecting and I’m just holding. I’m going to hold. And if I do need money, I can turn my Bitcoin into whatever I want. I could turn it into USD. It’s not a problem for me.But yes, I do use Bitcoin in my everyday life whether it’s turning it into another crypto or just cash it out, or send it to my bank through Coinbase to liquidate it and have a USD or fiat, as we would call it form of exchange.
[23:47] Q: Talk to us a little bit about it as you’re investing over the years. What are some of the criteria? What are the things that you’re looking at paying attention to when you are looking at potential investments and what led you or what was the thing that really piqued your interest in Bitcoin?
[24:04] Alex Barrett: Honestly, it’s kind of who I come across and who I talk to and who helps me. First and foremost, educate myself. When it came to real estate, I talked with a couple of guys in the league and they spit out some models with me, buy a duplex or multiplex, staying in one, rent out the other 3 or 2 units, and create some passive income for yourself. Pull out a first-time homeowners loan and put like 3.5% down to buy that property. That’s exactly what I did. I end up buying a condo, not a duplex, inScottsdale, Arizona, I rented out an Airbnb.And then when it came to Bitcoin, honestly, it’s really the team at Bitwage that helped me. First and foremost, educate myself first. They sent me out a book, and I’ve been reading the book. Actually, since I’m a terrible reader, I downloaded the audiobook too on my audio, audio Bible, or whatever on my iPhone, and I listened to it and skim through the page at the same time because I’m just terrible at reading. But that step of just education was like one of the biggest emphasis before I even got involved and that just helped me understand it more, to be honest. It’s a digital gold tome for what I’ve learned and I’m still going back and finishing up that book. But that’s really what’s helped me figure out what I want to do financially for myself.
[25:36] Q: I love that, and I love all the initiative to seek out people who know more and learn from them. What’s the book that you’re reading right now?
[25:46] Alex Barrett: It’s the Bitcoin Standard by…What’s his name?
[25:50] Q: Saifedean.
[25:51] Bitwage: But old Saifedean.
[25:52] Alex Barrett: Michael Saylor. Yeah.
[25:54] Bitwage: Michael Saylor. You know, well…
[25:55] Alex Barrett: He wrote the foreword but I don’t even know what that means.
[25:57] Q: Oh, the foreword is actually…
[26:00] Alex McShane: Wait. Who does the foreword for the book? I don’t even remember.
[26:03] Alex Barrett: I don’t know. The Foreword by Michael Saylor. The BitcoinStandard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking. I don’t know the [inaudible]to be honest.
[26:12] Bitwage: Yeah. After Saifedean and Teleb gotten beef, he had Saylor rewrite the foreword so I know the [crosstalk] are Michael Saylor himself. It’s a funny thing. I’m glad you got the new one. Alex, I got a quick question for you. I’m not sure if this is your first conference, the Bitcoin 2022 conference, but I was just curious. Your thoughts oncoming to the conference, what it was like? Matheus appreciates you and the Bitwage guys saying we threw a good conference. It took a lot of work and a lot of effort so we appreciate all feedback, good and negative about it. So I guess, Alex, what are your thoughts on the conference overall and what you thought of the event?
[26:50] Alex Barrett: Excuse my language, but that shit was dope. Honestly, I’ve never really experienced something like that. A conference of just like-minded individuals, companies that are startups or that are already established being part of one big thing.It was just sick, Bro. I pulled up, the first thing I got to do is, there’s a food truck, eat some good food. I think it has some jerk chicken or something like that. Pull up, walking into the Bitcoin conference man. You see a big volcano. You see the bull before you get into and then you just see booths, event like it’s just… I can’t even describe it, man. It just felt like a big-ass party, to be honest. And I just can’t wait till the next one, honestly. And I think you guys did a really, really freaking good job.I want to thank Bitwage for allowing me to fly out there to Miami because there’s no better place to be for a Bitcoin conference.
[27:54] Bitwage: It’s literally just an orange-peeling convention. You bring someone there and they’re sold. I mean, just the energy and the excitement, and the enthusiasm and the positivity and even with Bitwage, the kind of service that we provide outside of the Bitcoin conference. It’s fairly unique a lot. There’s a bit of a learning curve that’s why we’re really passionate about education. We obviously don’t automatically think that everyone is going to understand our product that’s why Alex mentioned the education piece were always very, very intentional about that.But it’s funny at the Bitcoin conference. It’s like we barely have to sell this idea of Bitcoin payroll. People were just coming to us in droves curious about how to pay their employees in Bitcoin, how to get paid in Bitcoin if they work at a company and theBitcoin conference created that environment for that to happen. We’ll go to like a payroll convention or traditional payroll convention and it’ll go well but it just won’t be the same.There’s a lot of selling that needs to happen. There’s a lot of convincing and there’s that learning curve that I mentioned.But you have an event like this and it’s just like you put Bitcoin payroll on your booth and people just come to you in droves and it’s so incredible that a conference can do that for us and for everyone else there. It’s just a room full of like-minded people. And it’s just such a great place to be if you work in Bitcoin and you’re creating Bitcoin products. And so, yeah, we had to bring you down there Alex and it just warms our heart that you found it to be a good time because it’s just one of the best. I mean, I would say it’s the best event and the industry and I’m so glad you’re able to see it firsthand.
[29:40] Jonathan: Alex, you got to bring your teammates down next year and laugh at them when you bought the dip and we’re sitting at a 100K for Bitcoin 2023 and you’ll have the last laugh.
[29:49] Alex Barrett: Bro, trust me, I’m already thinking about it. They’ll be flocking to me in my DMs and messaging me about it. Trust it. I’m already ready for it.
[29:59] Jonathan: Definitely. Without a doubt.
[30:01] Q: And if you’re listening and feel like you missed out, take us for Bitcoin ’23, you’re on till now.
[30:07] Alex Barrett: Yes, sir.
[30:08] Q: Alex, I have to ask as a football fan but of all of the players you’ve played against, is there anyone quarterback where you’re just like, “Yo, it’s on sight when I see him on the field?”
[30:25] Alex Barrett: It’s on sight when I see him on the field? [pauses] Kyler Murray.
[30:31] Jonathan: Oh, there we go. I was worried you weren’t going to say any one.
[30:34] Alex Barrett: That’s who it is. Kyler Murray. But only because, I mean, I had a sweep play against some. Cardinals, my home team, I’m from Mesa, Arizona. I mean, they’re not my home team but you know what I mean. But, yeah, we kind of have like a rivalry against him. Hopefully, I don’t start no beef and no one’s listening to this but that’s what I’d say.
[30:58] Q: I love that. I’m excited. I think this will be a really fun and exciting season.
[31:05] Alex Barrett: Definitely, Bro. It’s gonna be a great season. I can’t wait for the year. All the training going on right now so we can all flourish during the season.
[31:15] Q: I’m curious. What was the feeling in adding a 17th game last year like going into it on week 18? How is everyone feeling? Were people pissed? You guys were shaping up for the playoffs during that time.
[31:31] Alex Barrett: Yeah. It’s kind of a bittersweet maybe an extra paycheck but honestly, I think it’s a little less. It’s a long season from the start of training camp. You got your 3 pre-season games and then you got the extra game during the season. It just really taxing on the body. You’ll feel it. That November month is like grind time. And you just had to push through. I mean, we go all the way to February in the Super Bowl. It’s just a kind of a year-round so it’s kind of bittersweet.
[32:10] Q: One extra paycheck in Bitcoin though but no.
[32:14] Alex Barrett: You’re not lying. Yes.
[32:16] Q: As a fan, I appreciate you guys putting in the work for one extra game for us but I also respect and appreciate how much work goes into a very long and grueling process. Talk to us just a little bit about what’s in store preseason-wise. I don’t think a lot of people really understand the differences between training camp, OTAs, and then the preseason and sort of where you guys are at in terms of timetables.
[32:49] Alex Barrett: Yes. So training camp is full team roster, meet up for about a month and I think about 13, 12 days before our first preseason game is how much time we have to get ready for that game and that’s down in the playbook offensively, defensively, special teams-wise, becoming a team and each one of those practices are highly competitive. You got to make plays on just those practices. You got to spark the coach’s interest. You got to be held accountable.And then leading up to those preseason games, it’s kind of like your showcase. If you’re a guy who always cloaks on the line, or like on the roster line, which is me in every situation, every season. I’m always a guy who’s right there. I’m the underdog guy. I’m the undersized guy. I’m the guy who’s not supposed to be there. I’m always on the cusp so it’s grind time for me.Those games are very important for me to showcase my abilities not just to the team I’m with but to the 31 other teams out there. Because the overall goal is to stay in the league for as long as I can. I believe in myself fully but now I got to make it known and show the rest of the league what I have to offer.So you think of it like a resume. That tape, every snap on the field is the resume that I’m building for these teams to watch, and those preseason games, people may think they’re just nothing but for a lot of us, they’re highly important and keep us where we’re at in the NFL.
[34:36] Q: How long ago did you start hearing about Bitcoin in the locker room? When were NFL players really discussing Bitcoin?
[34:47] Alex Barrett: I would say, one of the biggest times was 2017 when Bitcoin hit about 20K. I remember it specifically. I’m sitting by Matthew Stafford in the locker room.That’s when I play for the Detroit Lions. And just news break out. I think we all start posting it and people are talking about it. How I’ve been involved. All this and that. You just take it for what it is. “Oh, I’m going to buy right now”. Everyone’s giving their insight into it.I can remember it vividly like everyone was talking about it yesterday. It kind of died out after that and it really was until this past year when it got brought back up. Things started picking up. Bitcoin doing an all-time high of what, 69k I think. And then the whole cryptocurrency wave with the NFTs and all that stuff. That’s when it really started taking off. All these athletes can have these PFPs.Flaunt and be part and be part of these communities that no one else has access to because they just have so much capital and all this stuff is kind of just like a move mentor just like a, we call it like Alpha passes or whatever, an invitation to exclusive events or whatnot. Those are the times I’ve seen it the most being talked about. And right now it’s being talked about [inaudible] every day, someone’s going to stir it up and ask about the crypto market.
[36:23] Q: Really. Because right now, it feels like we’re on the other end of what we felt from the 2017 highs. You have that 2018, bear market, 2019, bear market. And as you said, it kind of died away. But even right now, people are still interested, or are they’re throwing out skepticisms now.
[36:45] Alex Barrett: Oh, yeah. They’re throwing up skepticism. Almost everyone I’ve talked to has something. There are a couple of guys who will say something bad about crypto but then they can’t really say anything bad because stocks are down too and inflation is high. And there’s nothing really you can talk crap about and then I got people that literally asking me questions like or just call me like the crypto guy. I’m the crypto down the locker room. They always come to me and talk about “What are you doing now? What investments do you do now? What crypto are you in now? What NFTs are you doing now?”Because I’m just, when I have the opportunity to share it and talk about it, I’ll talk about it. If guys need help then they come to me, I’ll give them the same financial advice butI’m going to give you what I’ve learned in this space and where the potential is for us as athletes to invest. And whether that brings them to Bitwage, tell them they could put part of…Which I’m sure is going to happen right after this. A lot of players are going to becoming to me asking how I can get involved. I’m going to share my story and my love from Bitwage straight to them, man, and that’s what it’s all about. I’m here to help people that want help or educate where I can.
[38:04] Bitwage: And that’s the thing. Even if you’re doing something like this Bitcoin payroll deal and players are giving you shit, at least, it gives you an opportunity to start the conversation in the first place because a lot of folks out there aren’t even thinking about these things. And so, when we do announcements like this, it’s a good thing because you’re an athlete. In a sense, you’re an influencer and when you do something like this, press pick it up. It gets a lot of news and now an entirely new population of people have the word Bitcoin in their minds or they are thinking about something that they haven’t thought about before.And even if their initial gut reaction is negative, it’s still important that a conversation is being started in the first place. So, as I said, even if you have a teammate teasing you about Bitcoin and it being down, it’s still a good entry point for a good conversation. It’s still a good place to start and help educate that player. That’s a huge initiative again, as I said earlier, Bitwage just educating the people that get onboarded under our platform even before they do their first payroll, even before they get their first paycheck which gets distributed to their Bitcoin wallet. We’re starting and were ending with that education. And so if we can educate you, and you can then take what you learned and give it to your buddies in the locker room, that goes a long way for both you and us and just forBitcoin in general because that’s one of our primary duties being in this space, whether you work in the company or you’re just a fanatic or you’re just someone who’s doing a deal like Alex and you have a position of influence, one of your biggest responsibilities is to educate. And education is something that can be passed down.So, if we tell Alex what’s up, he can tell his teammates what’s up and we can kind of create this cool ecosystem of people who are learning more and more about Bitcoin and who are getting it more and more. And so that domino effect is always cool to watch.And it happens across different types of sports. I mean, you saw it with Matheus who is in this room earlier, our UFC Ambassador. I mean, we did a deal with him and Alex was in that room, that Twitter space, and then that’s how this happened. So, it’s really cool to also see that education happens within respective sports leagues but it can happen across different leagues and across different sports entirely. So, it is a domino effect but the thing that really pushes that domino down and helps the next one fall is the education and helping people understand what Bitcoin is and the potential andthe properties, and glad you’re getting through that book one way or another, Alex.You don’t have to read it. You can listen to it. It doesn’t matter. As long as you’re soaking in that information and maybe even taking notes on it because that’s been something really big for me as I’ve been reading and watching tons of stuff for years now. Just taking notes and reflecting on it and talking about these topics with other people. I mean, I feel that’s another way we can learn about Bitcoin is to take what we learn, and just talk about it with others. So, again, really happy to hear that you’re taking these education initiatives seriously, Alex and that you’re kind of passing it down to your teammates.
[42:31] Alex McShane: You know, another interesting thing just from what you were saying, Alex, is people talking about maybe Bitcoin crashing but really a lot of the markets going down. I was just talking with a VC earlier today and he sort of let me know that the FinTech IPOs that happened last year. These are just normal stocks. A lot of them are down 80% from their IPOs. There are a couple of other ones. And so what’s kind of interesting is if you’re saying, “Oh, Bitcoin is super volatile”, look at the stock market. Well, there’s actually an entire sector of the stock market that is more volatile than Bitcoin. So already we’re almost seeing the fact where Bitcoin has this amazing upside before it becomes a world reserve stable asset but we’re already seeing progress there when compared to [inaudible] in the stock market. So it was just something that you made me think about, Alex. And maybe something that you can bring to the locker room when someone tries to say something like that.
[44:02] Alex Barrett: Oh, yeah. Definitely. I’m going to put up my gun when I fire off and spit my knowledge to these cats so I appreciate that.
[44:11] Bitwage: Another thing I want to mention is that I think, I forgot who said it earlier, but to be in a profession like yours, Alex, it’s a really unique situation. It’s not like a job that you can stay at for 40, 50, 60 years and get a pension and depend on a 401K.It’s a very unique situation that you’re in. It’s even more unique for someone like Matheus in the UFC where they’re kind of notorious for the cut that they give players less so in the NFL. I guess the point I’m trying to make is you need a dependable way to really preserve the value of your work.And I mean you are working really hard. You are physically putting so much stress on your body to earn your money and that can be a sensitive issue.